Tuesday, March 9, 2010

a nice saturday

This past Saturday we went to Nice to visit since, although we landed there three months ago and even spent the night, and have since passed through a few times, we have never really explored the city.

First we drove through Cannes (well, actually sat in traffic in Cannes until we could turn around and get out of there).  Then drove up into the hills to see St. Paul and Vence -- beautiful!  We looked through the old city to find the elusive Chagall mosaic on the side of a church -- no guide book has an address and no inhabitant has heard of it so I assumed there would be a sign or a big arrow, an "X", SOMEthing, but nothing.  Instead we found:
::the remains of an old Roman road built in 340 b.c.  Not the best picture, but completely amazing to me. The town was built around it
::medieval arch

::trompe l'oeil building -- look closely, only the doorway lintel is real, the ones around the windows are just paint -- did it fool your eye?

::we ate lunch in the town square -- the quiche didn't last long enough to photograph, but our dessert of various tarts was delicious

::we watched people playing petanque

::visited the brocante
::and enjoyed the Saturday bustle of a small french town

We then drove over to the Chapelle Rosaire to see the stained glass windows and murals of Matisse (I couldn't take photos inside so this one is "borrowed")
Next we found the Chagall museum in Nice and it was so incredible!  I think our favorite museum yet.  He had painted 17 scenes from the bible intended for a church in Vence, but then gave the paintings to France and helped design this building to house them.  They had a great children's audio tour and we could have stayed in there for hours.  At 4:40 p.m. someone came and told us that it was closing soon.  I said, "At 5:00?"  And she said, "Yes, but you need to leave in 5 minutes."  We rounded everyone up and headed toward the exit, with the required bathroom stop.  I have never wanted to spend my money as much as I did at their bookstore, but no, the cash registers were locked, the gates coming down and they were locking the front doors at 5 minutes to the hour.  These French are serious about closing times -- they want to be HOME at 5:00.
::a mosaic mural on an outside wall (also borrowed)
We then rushed over to the Matisse museum which closed at 6:00.  
::the front of the building

::inside -- mere seconds before being sternly told not to take pictures 

::outside again -- this time they had everyone out and doors locked at 17 minutes before closing time -- hopefully a record, but I imagine more the norm

::a ride on the menagerie in the surrounding park

::the park was full of olive trees and each pathway was named after a famous jazz artist

We then drove around town to soak up what we could after hours -- it is a lovely city and Charles said that he hoped it would make us all a little Nice-er (neeser).

1 comment:

Jen said...

Nice? Nice! Sorry, I couldn't help myself. I came via MMB, and I am enjoying all of your pictures. I studied abroad in London a long time ago, but I never got to the continent. I hope you have a wonderful journey, however long it is.

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